Carbet Falls, located in the Capesterre-Belle-Eau region, is one of Guadeloupe’s main tourist attractions. The car ride leading to the hiking trails is spectacular—the 10-kilometer road snakes up the mountain through a series of banana fields and tropical rainforest.
Once at the falls, there is a vast picnic area and several trails leading toa second and third waterfall. The second is by far the most impressive, plunging down 110 metres and featuring natural hot springs. It is also the most easily accessible, a mere 30 minute hike away along a marked trail with a magnificent suspension bridge.
Petit-Bourg is home to one of Guadeloupe’s best-kept secrets, Saut de la Lézarde, a 15-metre waterfall that pours into a deep 25-metre-wide pool carved into the rock. You can get there in half an hour by following a narrow trail that meanders through a banana plantation and the tropical rainforest. The falls are especially impressive during the humid season when the water forms a curtain around the basin.
Located in the National Park in Petit-Bourg on Route de la Traversée, the Cascade aux Écrevisses is perfect for those who aren’t big on hiking or who have young children in tow—10 minutes down a wide cobblestone road and you’re there! The waterfall empties into the Corossol River. Picnic along the riverside and spend the day deep in the tropical forest listening to the babbling river and birdsongs. And if you are very quiet, you may even see a mongoose, a small carnivorous mammal that closely resembles the meerkat.
The Inaugural Bath, a Guadeloupean New Year tradition
The Inaugural Bath (bain démarré) litteraly translates as starting bath. In Guadeloupe, water has a purifying connotation. Traditionally, we start the year with a sea or river bath to “wash” away the past year and start the New Year on a clean note.